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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Why is our heritage being sold from under our feet!

The history of the St Peters Church land sale fiasco is best described in this email sent via Brother Kashif Nawab in 2006 (sic):

"On 12th feb 2005,the parish council and members of St Peters church in Faisalabad were shocked to see developers working within the church and surrouding grounds. While investigating the development they were advised that Bishop John Samuel leader of the church was planning to build a college.

On 13th feb 20005 parish council saw glossy reflecting mirrors on front side of the hall towards the main road (It looked like a showroom.)

On 14th feb the parish council and membersof the church annouced a General Meeting which was held in the church. Further investigation and following a meeting with Bishop John samuel of the church, it was discovered that the aforementioned Bishop had sold the expensive land to developers without the consent or knowledge of the parish council or faithful members. It was also revealed that it was not a college be built, but actually a car showroom and petrol station.

This decimation of the church and ensuing inability for worship services raised the ire of many concerned and a Christian picket was arranged resulting in the ransacking of the development.

On their request police(SHO)arrived at the scene following careful inspection of the incident the Police sided with parishioners and asked the developers to immediately vacate the church.

The parish council have involved Mr.Sohail Amer executive members of this diocesed his brother Mr.Kanwal Amer members of the local council and chairman of minorities affairs,for their assistance in this matter.

Due to the serious nature of the incident and the threats of violence and death invoked by Bishop John Samuel, a request was made to Wilson Chowdhry to approcah the British Anglican Church. However, the Anglican Church have stated that the Church of Pakistan is an independant Organisation and that they have no jurisdication over any of their decision. Andrew Norman had advised Wilson he would contact Bishop Alexander Malik and ask him to respond to Wilson directly."

Just to let you know - I never got a response from Alexander Malik and I still wonder why he did not see fit to investigate this issue, nor did he choose any ostensible rap on the knuckles to appease the affected - even as a small gesture...?
It is such a shame that we always talk about the crime of our Heritage being sold under our feet. Yet it is all of us that just sit back and watch as it continues and pervades into areas adjoining our churches. It wont be long at this rate till our churches become car showrooms and the congregation hold services in tents next to the site of former glorious buildings that used to extol the very virtue of our glorious Lord.

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